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622478 Posts in 25035 Topics by 3555 Members - Latest Member: Spoonito December 10, 2017, 07:59:24 PM
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Author Topic: The Zombies Thread  (Read 461 times)
JL
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« on: August 07, 2017, 06:12:44 PM »

A thread to one of the best and overlooked groups of the 60's.

They are mostly know for a few hit songs, including "She's Not There", "Tell Her No" and "Time of the Season". The latter, ironically, became a hit song in 1968, long after the group had broken up in 1967. Even more ironically, the group broke up due to a lack of commercial success and intended their masterpiece, "Odessey and Oracle", to be their swan song (which it was). The album flopped, predictably, but it didn't stop Time of the Season from going to #3 on the charts a year later.

It just so happens that Odessey and Oracle (the typo in the first word was unintentional: the artist misspelled the word on the cover and the band did not have the money to have it re-done) is one of the greatest albums ever made. I've always found most of The Zombies work to be darker, a little harder edged than most, and the album mixes that with elements of psychedelia, rock, and baroque pop, with a hint of Beatles and Beach Boys harmony/production. Listen to the pop symphony sound of Care of Cell 44, especially the acapella breaks, the sad Rose for Emily, which sounds to me like a mix of 'For No One' and 'Eleanor Rigby'. Maybe After He's Gone is heartbreakingly beautiful, reminiscent of the melancholy found in some of Brian Wilson's best work. The intensely psychedelic Hung Up On a Dream, haunting Beechwood Park and the sad but surprisingly mature look at the end of a relationship in Brief Candles. The beautiful, uplifting This Will Be Our Year is also a highlight. A few tracks are simply expertly done pop, and a couple are only partially successful experiments, but overall, the Odessey and Oracle's stature as one of the great works of our time continues to grow (ranked #100 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goDxhJl1UJE

Some other songs of theirs that I enjoy:

Whenever You're Ready: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olIJsQ6LiXQ

Girl, Help Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug40FLvNGhk

The Way I Feel Inside: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QG1frfRywc

Rod Argent and Chris White are both excellent songwriters and instrumentalists, as Colin Blunstone is one of my favorite singers as well. I'm not overly familiar with their solo catalog but the band 'Argent' (with songwriting and production help from White) had a huge hit with 'Hold Your Head Up' and Argent went on to record some apparently good solo albums. Maybe The Zombies weren't a revolutionary band, as they tended to follow trends rather than creating their own, they were still a top notch group, one of the best ever, and deserved better than a couple of hits before disbanding.

What do you guys think? Any Zombie related thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 06:42:58 PM »

I'll post more later about this.
She's Not There was one of my favorite songs from 1964. It was so different from most of the songs that came out that year. Think I had posted this earlier, but I was listening to the top 40 of the Billboard charts for a particular week that year - a satellite sixties channel has the countdown every week. Listening to it, there were two definite tracks that really stood out, She's Not There, and When I Grow Up to Be a Man. (Then the host said, listen to the flip side, She Knows Me Too Well, which he gushed over.)

Anyway, about Odessey and Oracle, I didn't listen to it for many years because of the song Time of the Season. It's not a bad song, I love the line "What's your name? Who's your daddy?" etc. But thinking that the rest of the album was like that song I didn't bother listening to it until recently. As you can probably surmise I think ToTS is the weakest song on that album.

I'll post my thoughts on OandO in a bit. That album totally blew me away and is one of my very favorites.
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 02:13:16 AM »

She's Not There was one of my favorite songs from 1964. It was so different from most of the songs that came out that year.

I'll post my thoughts on OandO in a bit. That album totally blew me away and is one of my very favorites.

Good call, JL.

Yes, there were a number of songs in those days that stood out because of unusual instrumentation and great musicianship and "SNT" was one of them.

As for Odessey and Oracle, I was only introduced to it a few years ago. I recognized the first sung line of "Care of Cell 44" as having been used for a jingle on BBC radio in 1967 and I knew the single, which I'd always liked.

One's tempted to say that in terms of sheer quality O&O is the true British equivalent of Pet Sounds. The Zombies' second album is a wondrous mixture of naivety and sophistication. It's now one of my all-time favourites and in my opinion in a field of one. (Coincidentally, the lads hail from my neck of the woods, when I lived in the UK.) 

I saw Argent in 1972 in London. Unfortunately I can't remember anything about their performance, apart from the fact that they played their big hit...
 


Source: http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/pollwinners-9-30-72.html


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JL
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 07:26:06 PM »

That's cool that you got to see Argent live. Even though you don't remember much of it, but no doubt it was cool.

I was only introduced to O&O around this time last year. lol I had only heard Time of the Season, but some guys on a music review site gave the album 5 stars (which they rarely do for any album), so I figured it must be good. And I was blown away.

I agree about the Pet Sound vibes in the album. I still feel that it falls short of PS and also Sgt. Pepper (even Revolver), but it can stack up against any of those. It's too bad they managed only one masterpiece, but I can also say that their first album (Begin Here) and The Singles A's & B's are definitely worth hearing.
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 06:18:54 AM »

Other than the hits and O&O, I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to The Zombies, but I think they're a very underrated band. 

One would think that Time of the Season (great, but one of the most overplayed songs of the late 60s) would be enough to get them into the RNRHOF. 
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 08:55:51 AM »

I'm currently obsessed with "The way I feel inside".   Love

I discovered Odessey and Oracle by chance when I was first getting into the Beach Boys. The album cover caught my eye so I had to listen to it. At first I thought "this is good but it sounds like a BB copy". Months later I listened to it again and I realised that not only it wasn't a BB copy but also it was really, really good. I don't want to say it's better than Pet Sounds because I'm afraid of being banned, but well, to me it is. And Colin Blunstone, what a beautiful voice (his solo work is a bit boring and very few songs stand out but I usually put it as background music just to hear his soothing voice).

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EgoHanger1966
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2017, 10:19:50 AM »

Huge fan. Think I've seen them live eight times in the past few years, plus Blunstone solo once. They are the best live working band in the business right now (for my money).

The reunited lineup doing O&O was a thing to behold - just simply breathtaking.
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2017, 04:28:39 AM »

Have you guys heard Still Got That Hunger? It's surprisingly good. I'm just now hearing it.
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